Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
- 12 apples
- 2 cups of water (optional)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1. Core and chop the apples into square inches or smaller (peeling off the skin is optional).
2. Combine apples, lemon juice and water in a pot on the stove. Set to medium-high.
3. Stir constantly until mixture reaches a boil. This ensures the bottom doesn't burn.
4. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to simmer and gradually add maple syrup honey or brown sugar as well as cinnamon. Be conservative at this point, adding much less sweetener and spice than indicated in the recipe. Wait until the mixture is fully mashed to add more sweetener and spice.
5. The mixture should be ready after about 20 minutes. With a potato masher (or food processor), mash to desired consistency.
6. Taste. Not sweet enough? Add sweetener tablespoon by tablespoon. Taste again and repeat until desired sweetness is achieved. Do the same with the cinnamon and allspice -- pinch by pinch -- until desired flavor is achieved.
Homemade Applesauce Without Water: For a Thicker Applesauce
1. Core and chop apples into square inches or smaller (peeling off skin is optional).
2. Place chopped apples, lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup, honey or brown sugar in a pot on the stove. Set to medium-high.
3. Stir constantly, making sure apples at the bottom are continually shuffled to the top to ensure nothing burns on the bottom of the pot. This is labor intensive but essential when not using water to make homemade applesauce.
4. As the apples soften, take a potato masher and mash the mixture in a stirring motion, always checking the bottom to avoid burns, still on medium-high heat.
5. Taste the applesauce in progress. Is it sweet enough? If not, add a couple more tablespoons of maple syrup, honey or brown sugar at a time. Taste. Still not sweet enough? Repeat until desired sweetness is achieved. Use the same approach with the cinnamon and allspice. Add pinch by pinch until desired spiciness is achieved.
6. When desired texture and chunkiness is achieved, turn off stove and allow applesauce to cool.
Variation: For a Fleshier, Chunkier Applesauce: Think Apple Pie Minus Crust
To achieve a thicker, chunky consistency, follow the instructions for making homemade applesauce without water but this time, only add 1/2 to 2/3 of chopped apples at first. As the apples soften, take a potato masher and mash the mixture as you stir. When the mixture begins to puree but is still uneven and chunky in consistency, add the remaining 1/3 or 1/2 of uncooked chopped apples and continue to stir and mash constantly, always checking that nothing burns on the bottom of the pot, following steps 5 and 6 of the instructions for making homemade applesauce without water.
Note on Apple Varieties and Sweetness
As I said earlier, this recipe is not set in stone so remember to gradually sweeten the applesauce as it cooks, tablespoon by tablespoon, until it tastes just the way you like it. Another consideration is what apples are being used. Some apples are sweeter than others. Gala apples, for example, are the best variety for applesauce: they are so sweet that no maple syrup, honey or sugar is even necessary. However, while McIntosh and its cousin, Lobo, are both decent varieties for applesauce, they're a little more tart and need that extra sweetening. Other apples to consider for your next batch of homemade applesauce include Fuji, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Pippin and Gravenstein.